Back to the Mini adventure….

The last of the ancient, mystical sites that we wanted to see on our trip was the Avebury Stone Circle. Like Stonehenge, we have little idea what went on at this ancient place. It consists of a circular ditch and the remains of three stone circles inside it. The village of Avebury was built to the west of the circle at sometime in the post Roman period and has spread to the centre of the circle itself. As far as I know, this is the only place where people actually live inside a stone circle. It is a very pretty village, the kind that people from abroad think we all live in.

Avebury Stone Circle is part of a much wider series of sites, including nearby Silbury Hill, that cover this part of northern Wiltshire. You park up at a little car park run by the National Trust and walk to the circle past the Avebury village cricket club. There were a few people visiting the site but nothing like the hoards at Stonehenge. And long may that continue, I’m sure the residents of the village wouldn’t want to be living in the centre of a major tourist attraction. It was a much more satisfying, and cheap, well free, experience.

It was built, we believe, 5,000 years ago. When the Romans arrived 2,000 years ago it was already abandoned. In the Medieval period it was regarded as a place of evil where the Devil was worshipped. Some of the stones were toppled and some smashed to pieces, ending up being put into the walls of cottages. In the early twentieth century the remaining stones were restored to their original positions producing the circle as we see it today. 

Unlike at Stonehenge, you can touch the stones. A couple of seconds before I snapped this stone, the lady was communing with it. She had her back to it and both her hands touching it with something like a ‘Harry met Sally’ expression on her face. Sadly, she moved before I could snap it.

The stones…

The village…

We had lunch in the Red Lion, the only pub in the world inside a stone circle it says outside…

The church. This site has had religious significance for at least 5,000 years…

Avebury Sunflowers… 

And here’s a picture from the net (thanks to whoever took it) of Avebury from above. You can see how the stone circles and the village work together. Leaving the village our route took us on the road through the circle.

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